50 kg Worth of Words

Some weeks ago, a 50 kilogram bag of cement fell on my big toe. It narrowly missed my entire foot. Needless to say, I was in pain hell for the next 30 seconds. And then after all the white blood cells had rushed in charging with all they’d got, it settled down to a level bearable for me to limp and fearlessly continue my chores. Nobody asked me, but I had been enthusiastically cleaning out the garage when I saw water making its way to the bag of cement. You know what water does to a good bag of cement. I saved the bag, but not before realizing the cement had been condemned for over a year now. Pain is bearable, and even good, when it is for a good cause. But now, I had nothing to show for all that pain; much ado over nothing.

More than 2 weeks later and multiple applications of “Emugel”, I still felt the pain whenever I touched my foot. The point of impact looks darker, the scarring a tribute to pain, a reminder that something did happen. I marveled that something that far back still had the ability to cause me pain when I touched it.

Words have the same impact, sometimes leaving their scars for a lifetime. I still remember things people said to me and how I felt about what was said. Lies are the worst of them. I also cringe at some things I’ve said and hope that they’ve got thick skin to let it slide.

Have you been so much in pain that you couldn’t breathe? Not the pain caused by a 50 kg bag of cement, but the pain caused by someone’s careless words? Why do we hurt ourselves so much- impatient, inattentive, pretentious, surly, taking for granted? Bad words from the past are sometimes like a can of worms. Do you know how disgusting that is? Just leave an opened can of corned beef or fish outside in a plastic bag and in a week or so, take a peek inside. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are people, events, and things we’d rather bury (not exactly literally) than revisit. Sometimes in my dreams, my mind replays these things (without my permission of course) and I wake up quite confounded.

I might look like a candidate for the shrink’s couch, but trust me, I am all right. After all, time lessens pain and I have learned to tie nasty cans in an extra bag of black polythene and take them to the dump. And I choose to make my words heal, build, and -God help me- entertain.

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